New Development – Albert and Division

In early 2021, a developer asked for permission for their plans for the Property at the southwest corner of Albert and Division.  They proposed two buildings – one on Division and the second smaller one on Albert.  On the ground floors, they plan seven commercial units (stores) facing Division and 3 “live/work” units facing Albert plus a total of 20 apartments on second and third floors.  A public meeting was held and a big concern was that there was insufficient parking – 28 spaces compared to a normal zoning requirement for 45.  At the Committee of the Whole Council meeting on Monday May 30, a revised proposal will be presented that has 35 parking spaces.  The new plan, which has been approved by the Planning and Development advisory committee, shrinks the unit sizes and widens the access driveway to allow parking there.

Overview

Division and Albert
Division and Albert

The development is for two buildings with a total of 7 Retail units on Division, 3 Live-Work units on Albert plus a total of 20 two bedroom apartments.  This is in line with a previous development just south of here where the ground floor is occupied by commercial units but upper floors are residential.

For more detail see the original post on this subject here.  At right is a drawing of their proposed building on Division.

Plan revisions

Apartments Original: All units are proposed to be two-bedroom units, with sizes ranging from 800 to 912 sq. ft.
Apartments Revised: Two bedroom units will range from 720 to 880 sq. ft.
Seven Retail Units Original: 875 and 930 sq. ft.
Seven Retail Units Revised: 835 sq. ft.
Driveway Width Original: 6 meters
Driveway Width Revised (including 5.5 m parking spaces): 11.5 meters
There are other minor revisions such as the location of the Waste disposal area.

Justification

In justifying the reduced number of parking spaces (in the original proposal), the developer says:

There are 295 total parking spaces within municipal lots and on-street parking in the vicinity of the proposed development. The total peak observed demand for parking in the area, observed through detailed parking utilization surveys, was 67 spaces. As such, the study concluded that “ample parking is available within the vicinity of the subject site to accommodate the … deficiency of the proposed development.” As discussed throughout this report, the proposed development is located in a transit supportive neighbourhood. The area is also well served with dedicated walkways and shared roadways for cyclists.

As well as the 35 parking spaces on the property in the revised plan, it’s noted that there are 6 on-street spaces suitable for visitors.

Council is being asked to approve the By-Law required to re-zone and allow this project. Stay tuned.

Comments

These would not be high-end apartments although on the other hand, nowhere are they described as affordable. There are no elevators – and stairs go to external walkways at the rear of the building, overlooking the parking lot. The sizes are not large. No sell price estimates have been provided and there is no indication as to whether they are condos or for rent – I’d guess condos based on what this developer previously built.
The Developer is Harry James Enterprises – they previously built the condos south of this location – facing the Esplanade.  Here is their web site/page for this proposal.

Council action

At the Committee of the Whole meeting on 30 May 2022, despite objections by Deputy Mayor Suzanne Seguin that there is still insufficient parking, Council voted to approve the project. Confirmation is still needed at next week’s regular Council meeting.

Addendum

6 June 2022. The motion from the Committee of the Whole to approve re-zoning for the project was on the Agenda for approval at the regular Council meeting on  June 6.  However, it was withdrawn at the last minute and deferred until the next regular meeting on June 27.

28 June 2022.  The motion to approve re-zoning for this project was approved at the Regular Council meeting on 27 June.  The vote was 5-1 – Councillor Burchat was absent and Deputy Mayor Suzanne Seguin voted against.

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Kevin
3 June 2022 8:28 am

Some interesting comments here. For comparison purposes, the building at 26 Spencer East has 24 apartments and 20 parking spots with no visitor parking. Delivery drivers often illegally park in front of the building. It has 2 indoor stairways to access the second floor. Units are selling for over $400k with a couple reaching $500k. They are mostly 1 bedroom plus den and less than 800 sq. ft. The parking was approved about 30 years ago when the first floor was converted to apartments.

Those stairs in Montreal can be quite a challenge. I lived on the third floor of a four floor building (inside stairs) having a secure place to lock a bicycle would have been appreciated. I have not looked at the design of this building to know if there is a secure place to store a bicycle at ground level.

The provincial government has passed legislation that overrides local by-laws. If a developer does not get local approval they can go to the province on issues like the number of parking spots. At least that is the way I understand it.

Last edited 6 months ago by Kevin
Sandpiper
2 June 2022 9:00 am

So how do accessibility rules apply in todays
society with No elevators ? or are they just a no starter
in this situation ??

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Sandpiper
2 June 2022 11:37 am

Sandpiper

There are limits to almost everything including accessibility.

In this case the absence of an elevator I believe will keep the rent charged for the third floor dwellings more affordable. The three storey walkup is a common form of housing throughout Cobourg. Far fewer in Port Hope.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
2 June 2022 12:44 pm

Keith, are these to be rental units or condos? In your opinion, what amount of cost savings for the developer justify a lack of accessibility? Eliminating the furnace and encouraging the occupants to wear sweaters would also reduce costs. Do you think that would be acceptable?

Last edited 6 months ago by Ken Strauss
Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 June 2022 7:43 pm

Ken

What on earth are you talking about? Benefits to the developer by liminating a furnace?; occupants wearing sweaters?; rentals or condos?; the developer reducing costs by limiting accessibility?

The subject we seemed to be discussing focused on whether or not a three storey walkup had a place in the downtown; was the parking adequate and what the consequences of either or both might be.

Last edited 6 months ago by Keith Oliver
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
2 June 2022 8:24 pm

Keith, in case you forgot what you wrote this morning:

In this case the absence of an elevator I believe will keep the rent charged for the third floor dwellings more affordable.

Omitting the elevator reduces construction costs and, perhaps more importantly, increases the space available to sell as apartments. Lower construction costs increase the developer’s profits. More marketable space increases the developer’s profits. The developer wins by omitting the elevator. Those unable to walk up three flights of stairs lose.

Last edited 6 months ago by Ken Strauss
Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 June 2022 9:01 pm

Ken

Once again you have missunderstood my point about the benefits of three storey walkups, especially this close to the high priced condo development between this project and the waterfront.

As I expressed elsewhere in this blog we should thank Harry James Development for the inclusive and progressive model it has established for future development in Cobourg’s downtown.

This is my last contribution to his blog.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
2 June 2022 9:23 pm

Keith, it is absurd to favour building lower priced units in an area that has an established demand for higher priced condos. Our downtown waterfront has limited locations for additional construction and Cobourg desperately needs the tax revenue to fund our profligate spending.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 June 2022 5:08 am

Ken

So, becuse of your phobia over what you perceive as excessive spending by Town Council, you are in favour of residential development in the waterfront area to the sole benefit of the rich!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
3 June 2022 8:43 am

No, Keith, I favour development in ways that benefit everyone in Cobourg. The limited building sites somewhat near the lake should be used to beautify our town and maximize property tax revenue for the benefit of all residents.

You appear to favour development that ignores environmental considerations and might, at best, marginally reduce rents. Without an elevator anyone unable to climb several flights of stairs is excluded. Why do you consider that attitude justified?

Rob
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 June 2022 10:06 am

As Keith mentioned, there are plenty of walkups in Cobourg, second and third story. The (sad) truth is, not every available apartment can be available to everyone. Perhaps we’ll see more able bodied people relocate to these new walk-ups freeing up main floor/accessible units elsewhere. I noticed that the stairway is enclosed, which should alleviate some of the concerns related to ice and snow.

There seems to be a misalignment – elevators, green spaces, parking for visitors and their family members as well as customers and deliveries, solar panels and EV charging capabilities, room for sidewalk cafes and trees…plus make it large enough to be comfortable and affordable to everyone – its pretty difficult to suck and blow. Lets keep in mind, this development is for profit and we need profitable organizations in this Town and in this Province.

Regarding the other comment, I suspect the developer will make that determination but make no mistake, if the third story units are rentals, there will be a waiting list of people who are interested – elevator or not.

ken
Reply to  Rob
3 June 2022 6:51 pm

There seems to be a misalignment – elevators, green spaces, parking for visitors and their family members as well as customers and deliveries, solar panels and EV charging capabilities, room for sidewalk cafes and trees…plus make it large enough to be comfortable and affordable to everyone …

The desire to be affordable for everyone is absurd for any prime, close to the lake, accommodations. The other requirements are essential if we want attractive and environmentally friendly downtown development. We only have once chance to get it right!

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
3 June 2022 6:37 pm

Ken

The last sentence in your first paragraph says it all.

You believe waterfront properties should be designed and occupied by the rich so that the Town will receive the maximum in property taxes. Is it not enough that they have gained control over the Esplande and associated parking?

What about the rest of the Cobourg community? Unlike others who, unlike you and I who are rich, but working stiffs, a family often obliged to send both parents out to work?

Ken, this may astound you, commit me to be confined to the barracks of the insane, but I believe we are all equal, entitled to equal priviages including a basic quality-of-life with equal access to the waterfront, regardless of income!

Ken … Your values and mine are diametrically opposed! Let:s leave it at that!

You believe in the unchecked power of our capitalist economy in which more
and more power and privilage is constituted in the hands of fewer and fewer individuals, while I believe that the distribution of wealth as a means of ensuring a basic quality-of-life for all, should be controled by government.

Last edited 6 months ago by Keith Oliver
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
3 June 2022 8:24 pm

Your values Ken, and mine, are diogmetri ally opposed!”

Your values, Mr Oliver, seem to always tend towards coercion of the individual and the subsuming of the individual to the collective. I experienced that when I went into the “socialist” nightmares of Eastern Europe during the cold war. People fled those nations for the opportunities of freedom elsewhere. So yes, my values are diametrically opposed to yours, especially your personal values that permit you to falsely smear me as a wino.

Kevin
Reply to  Keith Oliver
3 June 2022 9:34 pm

Keith, you wrote:
“… I believe we are all equal, entitled to equal priviages including a basic quality-of-life (and equal access to the waterfront) regardless of income!”

In Cobourg, people, regardless of income, do have equal access to the waterfront, if you are referring to the beach. Having access to housing near the waterfront is something else entirely. If we are all entitle to live next to the waterfront, regardless of income, who is responsible for building housing for those with little to no income? There is only so much land available. Market forces of supply and demand determine which wealthy people live near the water and which ones do not. Who will decide which low income earners get to live next to the lake? We do have equal rights but some people work harder and manage their money better than others. There are many other factors like Intelligence, physical abilities, how wealthy one’s parents are and so on (life is not fair). A private developer likely decides to build what is most profitable. If not approved by local government the developer can make changes to the plans. Or, I believe, the developer can have the province overrule local government. The Ford government passed such a law not long ago.

If community housing is built on less desirable land (farther from the lake) then more units can be built for the same cost. If all people are entitled to housing and there is a current shortage, then is it not in our best interest to have more units even if they are in a less desirable place?

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Kevin
3 June 2022 11:35 pm

Ken

Once again getting off the original topic of this blog which is the Harry James Development proposed for the south west corner of Division and Albert.

With no elevator to the third floor the dwellings at that level will most likely be available at a reduced rental or condo price. The developer built the “Beach Walk” (?) building to the south and could have proposed a similar high-end residential building at Albert and Division but didn’t.

Again this project should be a model for buildings in the downtown that combine commercial and two levels of residential. Hopefully the parking lot at the north east corner of Second and Albert will be next.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
4 June 2022 9:48 am

Once again, Keith, buildings without adequate parking, without adequate street setbacks and without access for everyone should not be accepted in Cobourg. Hopefully our councillors will realize that their approval of this proposal was without sufficient understanding of its deficiencies and they will correct their mistake.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Kevin
4 June 2022 9:41 am

Very well said, Kevin. It is unfortunate that not everyone is able to understand the obvious!

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Kevin
6 June 2022 8:13 pm

Kevin

Unless I have missunderstood you, as well as including you as a cohort with Ken Strauss, your determination of who should have the opportunity to live in close proximity to the waterfront should be determined by an individual’s wealth and the incentive a property owner has to achieve the maximum profit from his investment.

Coborg and its citizens did not build our water front and therefore cannot claim ownership.

Early on Idigenous people collected there to fish. Later on European settlers used the beach to build lake boats well over 100 ft long.

Our waterfront is an an accident between Nature and Man. It is a result of the interaction between the natural west to east flow of currents along the northern shore of Lake Ontario and the construction of the first east pier in 1832.

Look to the east of us and to the west and there is no sandy beach, only stones and rock.

The waterfront and it’s beach should be available to all regardless of economic class and this includes not only visiting but owning or renting a dwelling.

A dream you and possibly Ken say?

The Harry James development at the south west corner of Division and Albert is a model for future development of our downtown, with occupancy and participation to all Cobourg has to offer to the largest diversity of Cobourg citizens!

I know I sound crazy but so to were those who agued for the idea of democratic government!

Last edited 5 months ago by Keith Oliver
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
7 June 2022 8:55 am

The waterfront and it’s beach should be available to all regardless of economic class and this includes not only visiting but owning or renting a dwelling.

Keith, there are only a few building sites somewhat near to the beach and certainly not enough for everyone. If economic class — income for a mortgage — is ignored, should the desirable sites be allocated by lottery? And based on your previous postings those unable to walk up several flights of stairs don’t even get a lottery ticket?

As you mention, only the crazy agree.

Informed
2 June 2022 8:16 am

I look back at tbe building that once occupied this corner and it was an eyesore for many years. The new build is a vast improvement regardless.Prospective tenants or condo owners can decide if the the lack of an elevator is a issue or not. Btw…elevators dont work when the electricity goes out. Maybe half the occupants dont own cars. Nobody knows. If you have an electric vehicle and you cant plug in then move on if its a deal breaker. All units will be fully tenanted regardless. Lots of complaining here. Btw….the lack of green space can be found around the corner at Victoria park. Theres even Lake Ontario within a 1 minute walk. Lots of positives here. My glass is half full. No development will be perfect or satisfy everyones concerns.

Rob
Reply to  Informed
2 June 2022 8:31 am

I don’t often agree with you on this site, however I think you nailed it.

Gerinator
1 June 2022 3:40 pm

For me what is missing is why Council discounted the objections of the DM. Was there any kind of threat by the developer that the project would be withdrawn? Anyway to me it is objectionable that the developer is counting on the ‘public and the town’ to offset the designed-in deficiency in parking, suggest underground parking be provided and be chargeable. Further access to apts and other floors via exterior stairs seems so 40s-50s. I understand that including interior stairs will further reduce the living space in the apts; I suppose that housing is at such a critical state as so they are counting on folks making some compromises in their purchasing decisions.

Ahewson
Reply to  Gerinator
1 June 2022 5:59 pm

This council has been absolutely hounded on the topic of affordable housing. Elevators, underground parking, parking garages, etc would add substantially to the development costs and obviously passed on to would be purchasers/renters. What do people want here?

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ahewson
1 June 2022 6:04 pm

Ahewson

A great question. So easy to be critical, so constructive to state what they want and why.

Cathy
Reply to  Ahewson
2 June 2022 8:06 am

Ahewson, sorry to be a pain the butt. Are you a homeowner? Please consider for a moment that at some point you might need a PSW or nurse coming into your home to provide care to you or your loved one. You might not be able to get one since they found Cobourg so unaffordable they had to move away due to their landlord selling, and can’t find an affordable place to live. Or the server at your favorite restaurant. Or a laborer to do renovations. Cobourg/Northumberland county needs to serve ALL residents. For several years they have failed abysmally.

Deborah OConnor
Reply to  Ahewson
7 June 2022 4:23 pm

I want simple accessibility as outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Code. It’s not optional, it’s mandatory.

Excerpt: https://www.ohrc.on.ca/en/discrimination-based-disability-and-duty-accommodate-information-service-providers

Keith Oliver
31 May 2022 8:33 pm

This development sets an admirable standard for the downtown if you accept that our downtown will only succeed as an essential component of a healthy, vibrant and integrated Cobourg community if there are more shops, services and housing-affordable-to-all.

As a three storey walkup (no elevator) with live-work on the ground floor, the cost in rent or condo price for the second and third floor dwellings will be determined by the fact that the higher you have to climb the less you will be willing to pay, and probably the younger you will be.

Ie, the third floor units will be more affordable and occupied by a younger subset of our population, possibly those trying to get a start.

The well-to-do will have their expensive condos facing directly onto the waterfront while this project, located only metres away, sets a standard that will create a more diversified mix of uses from which we as citizens of Cobourg will all benefit.

Congratulations to the developer, Harry James Enterprises

Last edited 6 months ago by Keith Oliver
Sandpiper
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 June 2022 7:16 am

Have you priced the rents in Mr James other building to the south not facing the water ?
These new units won’t see the water either . The shops will in No way help the down town
there is No delivery or Parton parking or pick up stations allocated . and
The real problem is there is No parking controlled or owned by the town despite the rumors from Planning to justify / support their poor decision . Or is it simply that the planning department and Council have No Idea whats really going on
Also did you suggest the Pent House units should be cheaper . ? Only in Cobourg you say . !

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Sandpiper
1 June 2022 8:41 am

Sandpiper

You criticise but as usual do not offer an alternative. Have you seen better use of such a site, in similar circumstances, somewhere else? Do you favour another parking lot?

What is your vision for our downtown?

Your comments brought to mind London, Ontario, where I lived for 4 years. There 60% of the surface area of the downtown is dedicated to roads and parking. Almost no one walks, people are isolated from eachother, the uses do not support eachother. It is an urban form of low level chaos.

Since I left more high density housing has been built. Maybe this will bring it’s centre back to life.

The more people from all social and economic classes that live and work in downtown Cobourg the better the quality-of-life will be for everyone! In my opinion the Harry James proposal is a significant contribution!

Last edited 6 months ago by Keith Oliver
Sandpiper
Reply to  Keith Oliver
2 June 2022 9:18 am

Keith
anything that cleans up this DownTown is a Contribution
especially the ability to pick up what I may have purchased from the downtown shops . Look at Huntsville , Collingwood , even Port Perry
all very nice , clean , and all have delivery and pickup areas not double-parking on the main st. and what’s this 5 guest spaces on the street .

The problem still remains that of Council and Planning trying to
pass something before the public and supporting it with poor and
inaccurate justification. The real fact is There are No 297 parking spaces in the area owned by the Town and the 3 immediate parking sites presently are undergoing redevelopment as well all are trying if not conforming to the requirements of intensification and parking and accessibility etc etc guidelines .
Even accessibility from the sidewalks in to the shops have not been addressed .

No this is all about Profitability return on investment from a tight corner site

Carol
Reply to  Sandpiper
3 June 2022 8:19 am

I have to wonder how this builder can get away with this. First there are still not enough parking spots and once the lit beside this property is built there will be even less. The property across the road (which I believe the town should have bought) has been sold. The town lease is up at the end of this year so if they decide to build that parking will be gone. Us thus builder giving the town a pay off in lieu of the required 45 parking spots. If so I would sure like to know if the town is that hard up we charge 5.00 per hour to park and let a builder away with breaking the rules. I am really disgusted

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 June 2022 8:54 am

Keith, are you serious? Do you actually think that a building without adequate parking, which ignores our climate emergency, provides no green space and whose units are inaccessible for many in Cobourg “sets an admirable standard for the downtown”? I assume that this was intended as tongue-in-cheek!

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 June 2022 6:49 pm

Ken

As to your point which I consider to be sincere but ill-informed.

Inadequate parking in the downtown and a well developed King Street with a healthy mix of retail and service establishments, may well be the incentive that results in a more frequent use of walking, or riding a bicycle, or using public transit, all of which will reduce the emission of green house gasses.

Inevitably people opt for the easy, the convenient, and in this case the automobile. Such an attitude quaranttees a future crisis of one kind or another.

In Fairfax, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, DC, where I worked many years ago, the town father’s had the courage to reduce a prominent 4 lane highway with it’s connection to the 95/495 ring road that surrounds the Capital, to 2 lanes each way. The result was congestion followed by a major reduction in vehicle traffic and an significant increase in the use of public transit.

Concidering the issues I have raised and regarding the wisdom I find on display at the Harry James development on the corner of Albert and Division … in 150 words or less … what is your vision of a healthy downtown that contributes to a better quality-of-life for all Cobourg residents?

As a second point what would you substitute for the proposed Harry James development?

Last edited 6 months ago by Keith Oliver
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 June 2022 10:02 pm

Keith, to answer your last question first I would probably make no substitutions but include significant design changes. These changes would include an elevator, increased setbacks from the street with plantings and possible outdoor dining, sufficient parking for all residents + visitors + customers together with EV charging stations for at least the resident parking spots. Note that our zoning regulations specify the required number of parking spots based on years of experience. Zoning requirements should not be ignored on a whim simply to increase the profits of a developer.

The automobile has given us tremendous flexibility regarding when and how we travel; requiring that downtown residents depend on public transit would be a huge step backwards. Your story of Fairfax is a perfect of example of misguided politicians making completely unacceptable decisions. If you need an example of a potential crisis, consider the impact of a strike by transit workers in a town that depends on public transit.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 June 2022 9:38 am

Yes — Ken I agree
just look at the Plaza Hotel conversion of 10 yrs ago with walk up apartments and No parking — actually it was Pay in leu to the town for the lack of parking the New boys in town at that time got away with that one & yes they still own Sidbrook today .
Then look at the Scotia Bank building right across the road that was the old British Hotel
Parking and elevators Now what looks better and more purposeful .?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 June 2022 9:43 am

Most walk-ups in Cobourg have interior stairs. This development has outdoor stairs, open to weather — rain, snow, ice. Will the developer install electrically heated stairs to melt the snow and ice? And what happens when the power goes out, as it has for many Ontario residents recently from a severe storm? Residents in Tweed are still without power and it will take another week or two to get it back up so that residents can cook their own food, store their own food. Power outages continue in eastern Ontario following storm on May 21 (yahoo.com)

Does the development have sufficient charging ability for e-bikes?, or dedicated storage for them or did it even consider this? Does the development have plans for solar panels on its roof and Powerwall batteries to supply the needs of the residents. A Tesla Powerwall battery can store only hours of electricity, not days, so if the grid is out for a week, as is the case for 10s of thousands of Ontario residents recently, the Powerwall will be able to heat your home and power your fridge and stove and other appliances only for hours.

The media reported that the recent storm was a rare anomaly, but the IPCC declares that such storms will become the new norm if we don’t address the so-called “climate emergency”. I appreciate all the gush you put forth concerning this development, but these are questions that need to be addressed for this current emergency we are living in.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Wally Keeler
1 June 2022 1:16 pm

Wally

Why do you think that 12 outside stairs are more dangerous than a lessor number. There are many expensive homes in New Amherst that have anywhere from 3 to 6 outside stairs from sidewalk to front door in many cases without handrails. In Montreal where I grew up there are 10s of thousands of second floor residents which are only accessible by outside stairs, many of them spiral.

Your comments about our dependence on electricity are somewhat relevant but stray from the more important virtues I find in the Harry James project (or “gush” as you call them.)

Last edited 6 months ago by Keith Oliver
Ken Strauss
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 June 2022 2:25 pm

Keith, as a fellow senior I find it incredible that you consider three flights of outside stairs acceptable as the only way for us older folk to visit a friend. Regardless of age, how will stairs work for those confined to a wheelchair? How will they work to deliver a new washing machine or sofa? How will they work to bring home several bags of groceries? How will they work for the EMS to transport a patient on a stretcher? This development sets an “admirable standard for the downtown” only if you accept that seniors and those disabled or in poor health don’t matter. And only if you ignore the ongoing problems for the residents. And only if you ignore the environment. In my opinion this design should never have been approved; Council still has a chance to make the right decision.

Last edited 6 months ago by Ken Strauss
Ahewson
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 June 2022 6:26 pm

I think his point was that Montreal is well-known for their multilevel walkups with spiral staircases. They’re getting along just fine and actually celebrated there. The amount of Montrealers housed in those type of buildings is many times the population of Cobourg.

I don’t necessarily understand what your argument even is. Housing styles can and should be mixed. These will appeal to a younger demographic. What is the harm in that? That very demographic is craving affordability. Lack of stairs is a trade off many will be willing to make. To an able-bodied person it’s nothing more than a minor inconvenience. Elevators cost a lot, they also require expensive maintenance. That’s an increased initial purchase and increased maintenance fees. Both could be the difference between a place to live and place to not.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Ahewson
1 June 2022 9:39 pm

Ahewson, your comment about “able-bodied” says it all. We force businesses, often at considerable expense, to be accessible by all. What about the potential residents or their visitors or their elderly parents who are unable to climb three flights of stairs? Should they be denied access? What about the resident who due to an accident becomes temporarily disabled? What about the long term senior resident? Experts tell us that aging-in-place is the ideal. Surely we don’t want to build new accommodations which are not accessible by all due to a desire to reduce costs.

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 June 2022 8:22 pm

Ken

Good point.

As a fellow senior, with our shared luck that we find ourselves in a state of financial security that includes a house worth millions, the Harry James project should leave the third floor occupancy open to others.

You and I in our wheelchairs on the ground level, young and productive young famies above. Why could be better for the community at large?

JimT
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 June 2022 10:15 pm

Ken: your valuable insights notwithstanding, I would point out that it’s “only” two flights of stairs: 1st (ground) floor to 2nd floor and 2nd floor to 3rd for this proposed building.

That’s still a big climb for many of us who can remember when Ike was president and Pearson was not even yet PM.

Last edited 6 months ago by JimT
Ken Strauss
Reply to  JimT
2 June 2022 10:28 pm

Only two? I assumed that a rooftop area was planned. But even two flights is a challenge in a wheelchair.

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 June 2022 2:28 pm

Mr Oliver said, “Why do you think that 12 outside stairs are more dangerous than a lessor(sic) number.

No where did I assert that 12 outside stairs are more dangerous than a lesser number.
As usual Mr Oliver, you have twisted a comment to your own advantage.

Ben pointed out that Ken Strauss made a similar assertion that Ben pointed out, however, Ken Strauss had the integrity to apologize for the misrepresentation. How about you apologizing for misrepresenting what I said?

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 June 2022 2:32 pm

The issue about outside stairs in inclement weather, especially snow and ice, presents more of a safety hazard compared to inside stairs. Why Did Montreal Get Those Twisty Deathtrap Stairs? (treehugger.com)

Keith Oliver
Reply to  Wally Keeler
1 June 2022 8:33 pm

Wally

As usual your point of contention is way off the subject.

The outside stairs in the Harry James project are enclosed from the weather; the balconies they serve to access individual third floor dwellings are not.

In your next post please include the name of the wine you are drinking. It seems to be most effective!

Last edited 6 months ago by Keith Oliver
Wally Keeler
Reply to  Keith Oliver
1 June 2022 10:11 pm

I didn’t think you had the integrity to apologize for misrepresenting my comments.

Btw, you’re comment that I drink wine sufficient to make me misjudge matters is a malicious fabrication. There is absolutely no evidence that I drink any alcohol — I hate the taste of it. I am a regular at The Oasis, and at the Ale House. They will vouch that I do not drink alcohol of any kind.

You should have the integrity to apologize for that obvious smear. I used to think you were better than that.

Cathy
31 May 2022 12:36 pm

I’m really disappointed that town council/county hasn’t been able to work with the Ontario government to access affordable housing and changes to zoning. People are hurting and this issue keeps getting ignored. It’s crazy that rent controls were removed especially in these times. A live to work housing didn’t fly in west village, so why try again? Please consider the missing middle that would benefit from mixed use co-housing, co-ops, and geared to income rentals.

Sandpiper
31 May 2022 8:45 am

So this was passed based on the Fact that there is supposedly 295 public parking spaces located near by in Municipal Lots Thats a lot of B S these are leased lost from
private land owners which presently have applications / proposals on them for Development as well . The lot next door to the west is not the towns the old Quigley hardware lot is now owned by the Boulder Group and the Town sold off the lot across from the Post Office
Where are these parking spaces Not to mention there are really only 29 spaces and 5 on the street for guests . On top of all that the entrance is still to close to the Division st intersection . Planning is really pulling the wool over the Public eyes on this one .

Ken
Reply to  Sandpiper
31 May 2022 9:53 am

Very well said Sandpiper! Let’s leave this one alone till the next council is voted in! No permit to build until ‘fresh minds’ have a look at it again!

Sandpiper
Reply to  Ken
31 May 2022 12:23 pm

are you suggesting leave it alone and in the hands of a
Council that likes to look the other way

Kathleen
31 May 2022 8:06 am

One more reason to vote this Council out.

Ken Strauss
30 May 2022 6:51 pm

How many EV charging stations will be provided? With 30 units surely they need at least 30 charging stations since the on-street parking obviously won’t have charging available. It is time that Cobourg starts to act to mitigate our town’s climate emergency!

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
30 May 2022 7:31 pm

Ken it is unrealistic to ask for charging stations without asking who is going to pay for them. I am sure the condo assn will not as everybody is on individual meters. Hooking charging stations to each units electrical panel would be a design nightmare.
Are you suggesting the Town install and pay for them?

Last edited 6 months ago by ben
Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
30 May 2022 8:20 pm

Ben, you have identified some potential issues with charging stations in a condo. A possible solution would be to install meters for each unit plus another meter for each parking spot. In any case metering for charging stations will be required to equitably collect HST and road use taxes for EVs “fuel”.

Why would you suggest that the town pay for EV charging? That is as ridiculous as suggesting that the town pay for condo owner’s cable TV, food and drink!

Mark
Reply to  Ken Strauss
31 May 2022 5:30 pm

In Amsterdam, there are public charging station on a lot of streets , they could install them on the streets here

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 June 2022 6:24 am

As usual Ken you have twisted a comment to your own advantage:
how did you get from here – “Are you suggesting the Town install and pay for them?” – my comment, to here – “Why would you suggest that the town pay for EV charging?” – your comment.

I made no such suggestion – your comprehension is way off on this one!

Ken Strauss
Reply to  ben
1 June 2022 8:49 am

Ben, apologies for my misinterpretation of your comment.

ben
Reply to  Ken Strauss
2 June 2022 6:47 am

no apology needed – just good debate!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
31 May 2022 12:31 am

Merriam-Webster defines ’emergency’ thusly:
“an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action; an urgent need for assistance or relief.”

It’s just show business Ken. The Town and the local greeners are slacking on the climate emergency.

Every new housing development should be required to take immediate action to install charging stations.

Every new housing development should be required to take immediate action to install solar panels on the roof.

There are only a very few years left to save the planet and all living things on it, according to “The Green Science”.

The Town urgently needs to act on this file since it was they who declared the climate emergency; either it is an emergency or it is not, and if it is, then mitigate it with immediate action. Otherwise the whole declaration of climate emergency was just a virtue charade to mollify greeniks. The usual all talk no action.

JimT
Reply to  Wally Keeler
31 May 2022 6:24 am

You’re right, Wally. It’s all “just show business”.

Fact is Canada produces such a tiny percentage of world greenhouse gases that we cannot hope to make any difference here ourselves at all.

The problem is huge coal-fired generating stations that are still being built in large numbers elsewhere on the globe.

Our efforts locally are just token virtue signaling.

Ken Strauss
Reply to  Wally Keeler
31 May 2022 9:12 am

Right Wally! We must do our part to actually fight the climate emergency rather than merely virtue signaling!

Wally Keeler
Reply to  Ken Strauss
31 May 2022 10:11 am

The best emergency act we could do is implement constructive nuclear reactor policies. Emissions-free, small footprint on the earth, consumes little fuel and provides reliable industrial-strength energy 24/7/365+++++.

Sandpiper
Reply to  Ken Strauss
31 May 2022 9:01 am

The last time this went around Planning all the On street was for the delivery trucks and goods pick up for these commercial store fronts . Where are these newly created storefronts
going to have their employees park ??
Are we designing to Fail in this town or what ??

Rob
Reply to  Ken Strauss
1 June 2022 9:29 am

Ken – the EV vision is optimistic and certainly one I hope we get to the finish line on, however I would suggest LDC’s and the Province lack the requisite infrastructure to support it – cart/horse. I’m not a big supporter of “if you build it, they will come.” That said, the Town must ensure all new builds are held to an impeccable environmental standard…of course this will drive up cost. My opinion is, this development shouldn’t be geared to income…this is prime real estate very close to the water front – these should be high-end condos or long term rentals.

Ken
30 May 2022 5:58 pm

Why not two levels of parking? Dig down, for level two, or build up for level two? Also, what’s wrong with having two elevators? ‘Design and build’ has been around since the time of the Romans!? One only has to look at the space they have, then build as per the bylaws. Easy-peacy if one puts their mind into the design! If this was Toronto, there wouldn’t an issue!

Sorry council……stick to your guns!

JimT
Reply to  Ken
30 May 2022 10:59 pm

If I recall correctly, the condo across the street has hydraulic elevators, operated on top of a factory-built shaft lowered by a crane into a hole drilled into the ground.
The whole thing works just like the lifts you see in a mechanic’s garage.

MiriamM
30 May 2022 3:15 pm

I like the idea the proposal places the buildings at the street line in a way which respects building alignment on downtown main streets.

Not so good that an urban heat island is created on the west side with all that pavement. With prevailing direction of wind the buildings may overheat. Is there any mitigating detail in development work to counter this? Maybe solar panels cover the parking area and shade pavement and cars parked beneath? An idea is to plant good sized trees along the west property line on adjacent First Street right of way. If parking is being negotiated then what public amenity is to be gained in exchange? And, the proposed solid board fence, if too high, can prove to be a public safety issue of darkened hidden spaces. Consider CPTED, crime prevention through environmental design.

ben
30 May 2022 1:34 pm

Speaking as a condo owner, and with knowledge of other condos there is no greater topic of contention as limited parking. For any developer to rely on public spaces to complement the lack of parking within the development is reckless and should be discouraged by the Town.

If the Town is to allow this deficiency by the developer then they, the Town, should demand annual rents for the overflow parking provided by the Town.

It should be noted that a parking space in a condo is valuable real estate (some sell for up to $50K) and should be treated as such by the Town. Why should taxpayers make up parking for developers who want to cut corners?

As a further note it should be held that the zoned parking requirement for visitors in a condo development is inadequate, and should be rewritten to accommodate reality.

Ahewson
Reply to  ben
30 May 2022 3:29 pm

Every downtown everywhere has parking issues. Do we want an aesthetically pleasing, walkable downtown or do we want people driving everywhere? One of the benefits of living downtown is that it is walkable. A trade-off of that is that parking is more difficult. Nothing can be all things to everyone. By moving downtown there must be a realization that it’s going to be more difficult to own a vehicle.

The other 75% of Cobourg that was built around cars, and most of it is butt-ugly. If where you’re going to park your car is an issue, move there instead. In the mean time, intensify downtown, reduce parking, get people walking. That’s how it was originally built anyways. There were no vehicles. It’s no wonder it actually looks nice.

John Draper
Reply to  ben
30 May 2022 8:29 pm

At tonight’s CoW meeting, Council approved the development 6-1. See “Council Action” note at bottom of post above.

Are_n
30 May 2022 1:12 pm

Personally I think a building with this many living units should have to have an elevator to allow for aging in place. And the developers should not be able to weasel out of having enough parking by saying that there are lots of spaces in the surrounding area. As well the whole live and work in the same building was floated in a couple of other developments. It’s never taken off. That being said I’m sure council will rubber stamp it though.